Lue thinks Smith will work through his shooting woes. David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

J.R. Smith‘s 2017/18 season has been a difficult one but head coach Tyronn Lue‘s loyalty to his sharpshooter dates back to Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals, Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com writes. In his defense, Lue referenced Smith’s eight straight points in the third quarter of that decisive seventh game and his overall value to the team.

“Sometimes your shot is going to come and go, that’s just part of the game,” Lue said. “For the most part, his effort is there every night. That’s why I wanted to stick with JR and I don’t want to lose JR. Make sure keep him in good spirits, going in the right direction. He’s big for us. When he’s making shots, when he’s being aggressive, our team is a whole different team.”

Leading up to the trade deadline, Smith’s name was floated in several trade scenarios as the Cavaliers — who ended dismantling and restructuring the roster — looked to improve. Smith has played better recently, posting 15 points in Cleveland’s win over the Celtics on Sunday.

There’s more news out of the Cavaliers organization:

  • As part of the three-team deal that netted the Cavaliers veteran George Hill, Cleveland also acquired the rights to Lithuanian big man Arturas Gudaitis. Gudaitis was a second-round pick of the Sixers in 2015 but he has been stashed away overseas. Per basketball journalist David Pick (via Twitter), Gudaitis is on track to strike a lucrative deal overseas that goes until 2021 and will include flexible NBA opt-outs.
  • It was just one game with the Cavaliers‘ reshaped roster but the early results are promising, Chris Mannix of Yahoo! Sports writes. LeBron James look reenergized, the new players seemed to play their roles properly and the flow of the game was consistent. There are still several months to go in the regular season but, as Mannix notes, the opportunity the Eastern Conference had to bury the Cavaliers in the standings has likely dissipated.
QUIZ: Name every NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award winner

The NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award is given to those players who provide invaluable bench contributions over the course of a season. How many of the past winners can you name in five minutes?

Good luck!

CLUE: YEAR / TEAM / JERSEY #

Score:
0/35
Time:
6:00
16-17 / HOU / #10
Eric Gordon
15-16 / LAC / #11
Jamal Crawford
14-15 / TOR / #23
Lou Williams
13-14 / LAC / #11
Jamal Crawford
12-13 / NYK / #8
J.R. Smith
11-12 / OKC / #13
James Harden
10-11 / LAL / #7
Lamar Odom
09-10 / ATL / #11
Jamal Crawford
08-09 / DAL / #31
Jason Terry
07-08 / SAS / #20
Manu Ginobili
06-07 / PHO / #10
Leandro Barbosa
05-06 / MEM / #33
Mike Miller
04-05 / CHI / #7
Ben Gordon
03-04 / DAL / #33
Antawn Jamison
02-03 / SAC / #24
Bobby Jackson
01-02 / DET / #34
Corliss Williamson
00-01 / PHI / #8
Aaron McKie
99-00 / PHX / #54
Rodney Rogers
98-99 / ORL / #10
Darrell Armstrong
97-98 / PHX / #15
Danny Manning
96-97 / NYK / #3
John Starks
95-96 / CHI / #7
Toni Kukoc
94-95 / NYK / #14
Anthony Mason
93-94 / CHA / #30
Dell Curry
92-93 / POR / #3
Clifford Robinson
91-92 / IND / #11
Detlef Schrempf
90-91 / IND / #11
Detlef Schrempf
89-90 / MIL / #22
Ricky Pierce
88-89 / PHX / #8
Eddie Johnson
87-88 / DAL / #42
Roy Tarpley
86-87 / MIL / #22
Ricky Pierce
85-86 / BOS / #5
Bill Walton
84-85 / BOS / #32
Kevin McHale
83-84 / BOS / #32
Kevin McHale
82-83 / PHI / #24
Bobby Jones
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This article first appeared on Hoops Rumors and was syndicated with permission.

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